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Parents uproot family to Ireland rather than return children to Coventry school in the face of Covid-19

Sam Vincent-Hunt spoke of the ‘hard decision’ to move to County Kerry where she believes her children will be safer

A mum is uprooting with her family from Coventry and moving to the Republic of Ireland rather than risk being fined for keeping her daughter off school when term restarts next month.

Sam Vincent-Hunt is among parents who want the right to choose and are backing a campaign for a judicial review of compulsory attendance which is due to take its case to Downing Street this week.

Sam has already enrolled ten-year-old daughter Indie in a class of seven other children in County Kerry and she and husband Seb are selling their three-bed semi home in Stivichall.

Sam, 39, who has a friend in the ‘kingdom county’, believes the Irish Government has been far quicker in reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic than its counterparts in London.

(Image: Sam Vincent-Hun)

‘Last straw’

They are moving after what they view as the latest misstep in a catalogue of errors by Westminster in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, beginning with the ‘herd immunity’ approach and the initial lockdown measures.

Sam said: “When they announced that parents would be fined if they didn’t send their kids back to school it was the last straw.

“I’m not having my children used as guinea pigs to see if this spreads further or to put their long-term health at risk, because we don’t know what the long-term health implications are or if people can be asymptomatic carriers and have lung issues or other problems in ten or twenty years’ time.

“I can’t, hand on heart, say I want to take a risk with my children’s future.

“We want to give them the best possible chance of being healthy and getting the best education.”

The couple, who are both self-employed, accept it is a huge upheaval but have been encouraged by their friend, who moved to County Kerry four years ago, and the more spacious surroundings and greater social distancing about three-and-a-half hours’ drive from Dublin.

Seb, 38, a tattooist, will continue in his trade while Sam, an auditor, intends to look for work in her field.

“We do love it over there but up until lockdown we hadn’t thought of moving,” Sam said.

“Then lockdown happened and I was discussing with my friend how the Irish Government was handling it, saying they were locking down before we did and how things were taken really seriously, they didn’t mess around. I was sat there thinking that our Government…

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